“By educating girls, future mothers are better equipped to educate both boys and girls - making the next generation successful.”
This is the estimated number of girls and women reached through the radio programming.
Estimated girls & women affected
This is the estimated number of people reached through both radio and TV programming.
Estimated community members affected
One year ago, you supported the “Innovating for Girls Education” radio programme in Zambia. Your support helped make public the outcomes of reviews of existing child laws and helped create awareness of the importance of promoting girls education to fight child marriage. The 13 radio programmes were produced and aired live during prime time by Zambia’s leading private radio station, Radio Phoenix. The topics discussed included:
- Revision of school curricula by integrating positive messages on gender norms related to violence against children, especially the girl child and ending child marriages.
- Lobbying the government to enact, enforce, and raise public awareness of legislation that sets the minimum legal age for marriage, including asserting the primacy of national law over other forms of law such as religious or customary laws.
- Reviewing the status of current children’s laws.
- Vocational training and girls’ economic empowerment.
- Violence in schools and enactment of policies that promote a conducive environment for girls to remain and complete secondary education.
- Advocating for the strengthening of child protection systems to curb child marriages and disseminating the results of the children’s law review.
Your support also helped an international symposium in Lusaka to consolidate the movement to end child marriage. The symposium with theme “Let Girls Be Girls and Not Brides” attracted high profile local and international participants.
“By educating girls, future mothers are better equipped to educate both boys and girls hence making the next generation successful.” - Statement by a member of a girls group
“There is urgent need for one supreme law on marriage in our country. Most people especially in the rural areas are taking advantage of the dual legal system to marry children off, because customary laws support child marriage while constitutional law does not.” - Lazarus Mwale, Plan Child Rights Coordinator
Risks and challenges
In general, the project did not experience any risks, and we experienced smooth implementation of our programming. In fact, the launching of the anti-child marriage campaign by the Zambian government provided fertile grounds to create public awareness on child marriages and advocated for the speedy completion of children’s laws and policies review process.
Delays by some partners in confirming their participation in the radio programmes created some initial difficulties, but adjustments were made resulting in changes of some planned topics.
What we’ve learned
The initial costs for producing the radio programmes were overestimated resulting in almost half of the project funds remaining unspent at the end of the production of the 13 radio programmes. The excess resources created an opportunity for television programs that resulted in even greater impact of the project.
It was challenging to feature children on live radio programmes due to the distances from their community to the studio in Lusaka. We learnt that it was easier to record their voices from their communities and play them during the live programme. Future programmes will take that approach and involve as many children as possible from different locations of the country.
- Disseminate anti child marriage messages in local languages to rural areas via community radio stations and the national broadcaster's local language radio channel. This would result in millions of people being reached with behavior changing messages and the current status of the law regarding child marriage in Zambia.
- Increase children's participation by collecting their views from their communities using simple radio recorders and have these played during the live programmes in the studio.
The 18+ Child Marriage Radio Programmes were implemented from October 2013 to April 2014 and were under budget. To use the available balance, additional activities which were in line with the objective of the project were carried out from April to July 2014. The total expenditures slightly exceeded the approved budget due to costs of printing the child marriage report for the Child Marriage Symposium.
Amount spent so far
Radio Programmes (40 minutes) Production / Studio time & Airtime
Bus Transport allowances for participating children from PUs
Meal allowances for participating children from PUs
The International Symposim was launched by the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and covered on Zambia’s National TV, to highlight to the nation the need for concentrated efforts to end child marriage in the country following the government’s campaign initiated a year earlier. Communication materials (pop ups, brochures, newsletter and reports) on child marriages were produced and distributed to participants to the symposium.
Ending child marriage on the air
We've embarked on a media campaign to advocate for the end of child marriage. The radio programs launched on October 4th, 2013. So far, 6 of the planned 13 radio programs have aired on Radio Phoenix, Zambia’s most popular private radio station. The programs featured interviews with experts as well as children discussing a variety of issues around child marriage and education.
The main theme of the radio program is “Innovating for Child Education,” featuring the following subthemes: - Revision of school curricula to highlight child marriage and girls' education issues; - Lobby the government to enact/enforce legislation to set the minimum legal age for marriage; - Vocational training and girls’ economic empowerment; - Provision of school courses in science/technology targeted at girls; - Enactment of policies that promote a conducive environment for girls to complete secondary education; - Strengthen child protection systems to prevent child marriages.
Risks and challenges
The project has not experienced any risks affecting its successful implementation. In fact, the recent launching of the anti-child marriage campaign by the Zambian government has provided fertile grounds for Plan International to create public awareness on child marriage and advocate for the creation/enforcement of laws to end this practice.
There have been some delays by partners confirming their participation for radio programs, leading to changes of planned topics. Bringing children to feature on live radio broadcasts, while essential to ensure that the voices of children are heard, has posed a challenge due to children’s low confidence to speak freely in a studio environment. We remain committed to overcoming these challenges as the project unfolds.
“By educating girls, future mothers are better equipped to educate both boys and girls, thus making the next generation successful,” says a member of the girls' group during the celebration of International Day of Girl.
In one of the radio programs, Plan International staff member Lazarus Mwale noted, “There is urgent need to have one supreme law regarding marriage in our country.” This is crucial, since customary laws support child marriage while constitutional law does not.
The project will focus on increasing the participation of children in the radio programs by including as many sound bites of children from rural areas as possible. This will be done by collecting children’s views from their communities using simple radio recorders to play during the live programs in the studio. This will give children the confidence to raise their voices and call for an end to child marriages.
The project is still in its early stages, having been launched in October of 2013. We are on track for implementing the project and appreciate your support!
|Line Items||Original budget||Amount spent so far|
|Radio program production and studio time||$11,765||$3,889|
Help Plan International produce and air 13 radio programmes to help end the practice of child marriage in Zambia.
Why we care: Southern African countries have some of the highest rates of child marriage across the world—not doing enough could mean a half a generation of girls will be lost to child marriage thereby perpetuating the circles of poverty in their communities.
How we’re solving this: Advocating at the sub-regional, national and community levels and launching a media campaign to raise awareness of the harms of child marriage.
Child marriage is a girls’ rights violation and one of the main barriers to girls completing their education. Almost 50 percent of girls in Zambia will be married as children, before they turn 18th years old. New and innovative approaches are required to accelerate social change to end this practice once and for all.
With the 18+ awareness campaign, Plan International will work at three different levels: sub-regionally, nationally and at the community level to help reduce the prevalence of child marriage. We will partner with groups such as Girl Not Brides and Women and Law in Southern Africa to oppose and act against child marriage at regional bodies and government ministries and in collaboration with service providers, civil society organizations, traditional leaders and boys and girls themselves. By working at all levels, including through strategic communication messaging, legislative frameworks, local governance structures and with girls themselves, Plan believes the practice of child marriage can be significantly reduced and eventually eliminated.
As part of 18+, Plan International will also launch a dedicated media campaign. The media campaign will promote messages on child marriages across television channels, radio stations and social media networks targeting community members, traditional leaders and policy makers to raise awareness of the harms of child marriages and create a supportive environment to its elimination.
This project will help produce 13 programmes to help publicize the outcomes of existing child law reviews to the public. Helping highlight these reviews will allow create awareness on child marriage and potentially support the reviews.
This project--as a part of the 18+ campaign--will help develop and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that children, especially girls, stay in school and finish their education. The 18+ campaign will help
- Provide scholarships to the vulnerable girls at risk of dropping out or who have dropped out,
- Equipping girls with sexual and reproductive health information and rights as a way of preventing early pregnancies,
- Strengthening girls and boys as agents of change by equipping them with life skills to help them advocate against and resist child marriages,
- Supporting girls clubs initiatives that help bring girls at risk of dropping out or have dropped out back to school,
- Organizing seminars for primary school teachers and parents as agents of socialization on gender sensitive approaches to socializing boys and boys,
- Support advocacy meetings targeting policy makers, and local influential leaders for the reduction and ultimate eradication of child marriages.
Your donation will help make help us make progress in our commitment to keep girls 232,600 girls across Southern Africa from child marriage.